Nunavut government closing group home at centre of multiple probes

Deaths of 12- and 19-year-old trigger several investigations at facility in Chesterfield Inlet.

The Naja Isabelle Home is under investigation after two residents died. Photo: Chesterfield Inlet Development Corp.

The Nunavut government says it won’t renew its contract with the company operating a group home in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut.

Instead residents are being moved out of Naja Isabelle Home after the unexplained deaths of a 12- and 19-year old, according to Margaret Nakashuk, Nunavut’s minister of family services.

The deaths that occurred in hospital and were made public last week are under investigation by multiple agencies, including the RCMP.

There was no update available Tuesday on the condition of a third unidentified resident who was also injured.

Nakashuk said only in a statement that three people were hospitalized as a result of “critical incidents” at the care home, and two died.

Chesterfield Inlet is a hamlet in a central Nunavut. Photo: Calm Air

The 12-year-old died Jan. 6 in Nunavut and a 19-year-old died Oct. 17 outside the territory, according to a statement from the Nunavut Coroner Service.

The home cares for children and adults under the age of 40 from across Nunavut who have special medical needs. It is operated by Pimakslirvik Corp., under contract to the Department of Family Services.

Nakashuk said the contract, which is set to expire on March 31, would not be renewed. Pimakslirvik operates three group homes for the department.

The Nunavut Coroner Service and Nunavut RCMP both confirmed they are investigating what led up to the incident.

Nakashuk said, after notifying families, her department launched an internal investigation of the home and hired a “third-party” to conduct an “unbiased and comprehensive review of operations” at the facility.

Will scrutinize

“Investigators will scrutinize the care provided for all clients at the facility, highlighting any areas of concern,” the minister said in a statement released Friday. “This process ensures a meticulous examination of the practices and protocols employed to guarantee the well-being of residents.”

The home employs 38 licensed practical nurses and nurse trainees around the clock, according to a post on the Chesterfield Inlet Development Corp. website.

The hamlet of 437 sits on the west coast of Hudson Bay in the central Kivalliq region of Nunavut.

Nakashuk has been on the hot seat before. She apologized last fall for her department’s performance following a scathing report released by Canada’s auditor general in May 2023.

The report said child and family services in Nunavut were in “crisis” and needed “urgent” action to protect vulnerable children and youth, and support families, employees and communities.

It was the third time in 12 years the auditor general’s office raised serious concerns about services the department provided for children, youth and families in Nunavut.

Contribute Button